Kettle Falls biomass plant featured    

Tags: Avista Utilities, Electricity, Renewable Energy, Environment

Kettle Falls Generating Station
Kettle Falls Generating Station.
Burning hot fuel
Burning hog fuel in boiler. Click to see a slide show of the plant's operations.
Post by Dan Kolbet

Sunday the Spokesman-Review ran a good article about biomass plants and the difficulty finding low-cost fuel. It featured Avista’s Kettle Falls Generating Station. Check out, "Biomass challenge," by Becky Kramer.

Two years ago I was involved in the 25th anniversary of the Kettle Falls plant and was able to learn a great deal about the wood-waste burning facility. I’ve got an affinity for it because it’s pretty unique in our power supply mix. While we’re obviously well-versed in hydropower and natural gas-fired generation and such – we’ve only got one biomass plant and it’s cool.

Kettle Falls video from 1983
This video was made during the dedication
of Kettle Falls in 1983. Watch now.
Wood waste – called “hog fuel” – is fed into a seven-story furnace/boiler and burned, creating heat. The walls of the furnace/boiler consist of pipes filled with water that are heated by the burning hog fuel. The optimal burning temperature is 2,000 degrees, resulting in a steam temperature of 950 degrees. The heated water generates stream and pressure that drives a turbine, which turns a generator, creating electricity. The maximum output of the wood-waste only operation is 53 megawatts of electricity.

Watch a slide show from flickr of the plant’s operations.

Avista – or Washington Water Power at the time – created a short video in October 1983 during the dedication of the first-of-its-kind, renewable energy plant. The video is called “From Wood Waste to Power.” Due to its age, some statements and facts in the video are dated, but the general idea is still relevant.

It’s interesting to think that at the time, the plant was so groundbreaking and it’s still a gem today.
Posted by  System Account  on  5/17/2010
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